Trapani

Erice and Segesta

You will meet your guide and your driver at the port and you will depart to Erice.

Perched 2,450 feet above sea level, Erice is an enchanting medieval mountaintop sanctuary of palaces, fountains, and cobblestone streets. Shaped like an equilateral triangle, the town was the ancient landmark Eryx, dedicated to Aphrodite (Venus). When the Normans arrived, they built a castle on Monte San Giuliano, where today there’s a lovely public park with benches and belvederes from which there are striking views of Trapani, the Egadi Islands offshore, and, on a very clear day, Cape Bon and the Tunisian coast. Because of Erice’s elevation, clouds conceal much of the view for most of winter. Sturdy shoes (for the cobbles) and something warm to wear are recommended.

After the visit of Erice and some free time, you will depart to Segesta.

Segesta is the site of the Tempio Dorico (Doric Temple), one of Sicily’s most impressive, constructed on the side of a windswept barren hill overlooking a valley of wild fennel. Virtually intact today, the temple is considered by some to be finer in its proportions and setting than any other Doric temple left standing. The temple was actually started in the fifth century BC by the Elymian people, who some believe were refugees from Troy. At the very least, evidence indicates that they were non-Greeks; for example, they often sided with the Carthaginians. However, the style is in many ways Greek. The temple was never finished; the walls and roof never materialized, and the columns were never fluted. A little more than 1 km (½ mi) away, near the top of the hill, are the remains of a fine Greek theatre, with impressive views, especially at sunset, of the sea and the nearby town of Monte Erice. Concerts and plays are held here in summer.

Return to the port afterwards.

 

The Archeological Area of Selinunte

You will meet your driver and your guide at the pier and depart to Selinunte.

Once in Selinunte your guide will take you around for a tour of the Archeological area.

On the south west coast of Sicily, not far from Mazara del Vallo, lies one of the largest and most remarkable archaeological sites in the Mediterranean. Similarly, with pretty much anything found in Greece itself, Selinunte has lain abandoned for over 2,000 years, its numerous temples, acropolis and agora in dignified ruins.

From being one of the most progressive and eminent cities in Magna Graecia, in 409BC Selinunte became, almost overnight, a large expanse of rubble. The reason for this was an attack from the old enemy, the Carthaginians who, for many years, had seen this upstart town as a threat to their influence in Sicily. Taking advantage of some trouble between the Greeks of Selinunte and the Elyminians of Segesta, the Carthaginians sent some 100,000 men to lay siege to the town, which was only able to hold out for nine days. The consequent sacking involved the massacre of some 16,000 of the town’s residents while most of the remaining citizens were taken into slavery.

Return to the port after the tour.

 

Segesta, Winery and Saltpans

Salt Roads and Mozia Island

Panoramic Trapani and Olive Oil Tasting

Trapani City Tour

Palermo

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